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March 29, 2011

If Your Life Was A 24-Hour Clock, What Time Is It?

At Midnight, It All Ends!
The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.  Period.  End of debate.

We want to avoid absolutes.  We want some debate.  We feel as if we have gained control when we are able to debate a subject.  We do not feel we have any control when we discover that "no" really means "no" or when "yes" really means "yes".  Furthermore, we like "yes" better than "no".  "Yes" gives us permission.  "No" restricts our movements.  He dislike restrictions.  "Yes" is usually our best answer when we are searching for permission.  Usually "yes" does not force us to accept something we do not like.  We prefer the answer "yes" more than we care to hear "no".  In the world of absolutes, we prefer to hear "yes".

Given this truth, if we ask permission to do something, "yes" is our preferred answer.  We want permission.  We want allowances.  We want options.  We want choices.  To ask someone for permission the best answer we are searching for is the answer, "yes."  Taken a step forward, if we ask someone whether or not we are annoying them and their answer is "Yes", we want to find out why.  In this case, "yes" does not become the best answer we want to hear, unless of course, we are given room for some debate.  Under this circumstance, we prefer that the answer "yes" opens up the gates for debate.  We want to find out why they feel we annoy them.  We do not want to treat this rejection as an absolute.  We need room to move.  We need debate.

It is easy to see how we prefer to avoid absolutes.  We want to examine deeper why someone felt we were annoying them.  We need to examine the options, the excuses and the justifiable reasons why we are being rejected.  We want to develop some room for protective debate.  We need to debate their view.  We want to avoid their absolutes.  Absolutes do not permit us to exercise our desire for control.  Absolutes give us no options.  Having no options leave us with no control.  We want options.  We want control.  Options give us the idea that we have some control.

When someone offers us unsolicited advice, we can become offended.  Who do they think we are?  What gives them the right to tell us an absolute that might be totally wrong?  The debate begins because we want more options to help them to understand us better.  Furthermore, why do we need to do what they want us to do?  Who made them God?  We consider their advice as being something similar to an absolute.  Remember, we are not hot on absolutes.  Absolutes remove our sense of choice.  They limit our desire for options.  Keep in mind that it is our desire for options that allows us to control our lives and gives us this wonderful feeling of self control.  This is where most of us find meaning in our life.  Therefore, when someone offers unsolicited advice for us to do something other than what we are already doing, we consider it to be an unwanted unwelcoming absolute.  We do not take absolutes kindly.  We will likely do just the opposite to show them how much control we really have.  Even if doing the opposite actually hurts our station in life.  We do it anyway.  We want control.

Conclusion?  We do not like absolutes.  They tend to kill off our sense for having options.  We want more control in our lives than having no options.  Absolutes are too narrow for us to accept.  So when someone says the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, we want that statement to become open for debate.  It sounds more like an absolute instead of an option.  We prefer to skip over the absolutes.  We would much rather circle our options.

Except for one and death.  These are the areas where we accept absolutes.  We accept having been given life.  We allow many debates about how we were given life, but life itself is an absolute.  We accept that.  We are alive and that is an absolute we can accept.  We know we came from somewhere, that is an absolute.

We also die.  That, too, is an absolute.  We accept death as an absolute.  Death will happen.  These are not subjects we will debate openly.  We accept them.  We may have modified what they represent, life and death, but we know they exist and we know and accept that they will occur.  The physical events of life and death will occur to us and we accept these absolutes.

Let's examine the absolute of death.  We know it will happen to us someday.  This truth is an absolute.  However, we will comfortably open up the debate by examining the when, where, how and why subjects of the arrival of death.  What and who are already accepted.  What happens is that we will die.  Who it happens to is us.  What and who are not debatable.  "Who" is us and "what" is death.  We only have when, where, how and why remaining to debate...and we freely debate those.

What if we treated when, where, how and a regular clock?  What if the clock we used only had 24 hours to run?  When we were born that 24-hour clock began to run.  When we die, the clock stops running.  What if we are only given 24 hours on our clock of life?  These are the rules.  Each life gets 24 hours to do everything they do in a lifetime.  Under these rules, what time is it in your life?  Is it 10 A.M., noon, 5 P.M. or is it nearly midnight?  Let's open up the world of debate for the remaining hours we have left to live.

Let's examine our personal 24-hour clock and see what time it is in our life.

I love math.  It is a subject I enjoy.  Math gives a person some sense of control when you understand how it works.  It does not offer a sense of control to those who do not understand how it works.  Some people are terrible at math.  They avoid doing any work that requires doing math.  They have no sense of control in those environments.  In fact, they feel intimidated when math is required.  They work hard to avoid it.

Even so, let's do some simple math with our 24-hour clock of life.  If you hate math, do not run away.  This is simple stuff.  Stay with me.

When we were born, our 24-hour clock began ticking for the first time.  According to the World Bank, life expectancy for an average human being is currently numbered at 78.4 years.  An average human will live to be 78.4 years old.  The insurance industry, the banking industry and the world of monetary standards have established actuarial tables that help them to govern the monetary rules of life and death.  They have established the World Banks numbers as being the most accurate.  Death has a monetary standard.  As a result, we can safely use the age of 78.4 years to make our 24-hour clock.  In the world of money, this is another one of those absolutes.  Just learn to accept it.

If 78.4 years represents our average life span, we can assume our clock will hit 24 hours when we reach that age.  Simple math.  Most will die at somewhere close to 78.4 years old.

When we became three years old, what time was it on our clock?  For those who hate math...I will help you.  We have 24 hours of time to live, and it will take us 78.4 years to live that 24 hours.  Therefore, each hour will be represented by 3.267 years of life lived.  It's the math that tells us this.  So when you reach the age of three years old, your 24-hour clock will be reading 12:44 A.M.  The math works this out.  In that math, each hour on that 24-hour clock represents 3.267 years of living.  Therefore, three hours of living on the 24-hour clock is the same as 3 times 3.267 years of life, or 9.801 years of living.  When your 24-hour clock reaches 3 A.M. you will have lived almost 10 years of life.  It is just simple math.

When you reached the age of 20 years old your 24-hour clock was reading the time of 6:24 in the morning.  To most people, it is time to get up in the morning.  Many people are rising to get ready for work at that time.  Using life as your clock standard, what time is it in your life at 6:24 in the morning?  Do you have children by then?  Are you working in your third career?  Are you married and already divorced?  What time is it in your life?  What does 6:24 in the morning mean to your life pattern?

When we examine our life 24-hour clock, what is it reading right now?  A person 50 years old is looking at the clock and it shows a time of 3:18 P.M.  That person is approaching dinner time in their life.  They have less than 9 hours remaining in life on their 24-hour clock.  A person 60 years old is looking at the clock and it shows a time of 6:22 P.M. in the evening.  That person has less than 6 hours remaining on their 24-hour life clock.  If your life clock was a 24-hour clock, what time is it right now?  Do the simple math.

You will discover something very absolute about this exercise.  You do not have a lot of time remaining to do the things you wanted to do when you had more time.  The clock is beginning to squeeze out some of the things you dreamed to do.  This type of process requires you to make some serious adjustments in your life.  You begin to work on developing the things you can do that are the most important things you should be doing.  You eliminate the things that do not matter as much and begin to focus on the ones that matter the most.  This is a great exercise for any business owner to pursue.  Every owner, regardless of age or time clock remaining, should begin to work on developing the direction of their business based upon what matters the most instead of what they prefer to do.  Regardless of age there is a finite set of time chips allowed to make those things that matter the most, occur.  Make sure you are planning your business approach with the effort to include what matters the most.  Your clock is too short to permit useless activities to steal your precious time.

What time is it on your 24-hour clock?  How much time do you have left to do the things in your business that need to be done?  How is your 24-hour clock winding down?

Outside of life and death, our personal 24-hour clock becomes another one of those unwanted absolutes.  With that absolute comes the idea that we do not have very much time left to do what we ought to be doing.  How much time do you have remaining to do the things that matter the most?  What will those things be and how will you make the most out of the adjustments you need to make?  I think it is a good time right now to begin that change, if you are not currently doing what matters the most.  You better get started.  Your 24-hour clock is ticking away.

Until next time...   



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